Market More Balanced in June

July 6, 2010 — Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 8,442 sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June. This represented a 23 per cent decrease compared to the record 10,955 sales reported in June 2009. Sales for the second quarter of 2010 amounted to 28,810 – up one per cent annually. Year-to-date sales through June were up 23 per cent to 50,455 compared to the first six months of 2009.

“We experienced a record number of existing home sales during the first half of 2010, but these sales were weighted more towards the beginning of the year,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Bill Johnston. “The pace of home sales has moderated from record levels over the past two months with the prospect of higher mortgage rates.”

The average price for June transactions was $435,034 – up eight per cent compared to the average of $403,972 recorded for June 2009.

“With more homes to choose from in the second quarter, many home buyers have been making less-aggressive offers. This has resulted in less upward pressure on the average selling price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “The annual rate of average price growth in the second half of 2010 will be in the single digits.”

For the GTA (“905”) in June 2010 there were 5,014 sales with an average price of $413,712 compared to June 2009 with 6,593 sales and an average price of $379,008.

Happy Canada Day!!!!

Happy Canada Day!!!


In 1965, I stepped onto a boat
And I was only 5 days on the ocean afloat,
And then we saw first sight, of Canada by night,
And yes we thank the Lord for that glorious site.

Lyrics by Bobby Finlay.

I am a Canadian, a Forty Dollar Canadian. I am Canadian by choice not by birth and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is My Immigrant Story

I came to Canada in 1965 with my Mum. My Dad was already here for three months by the time we arrived, getting us started, as many immigrants still do today. He was lucky enough to find a job the week after he arrived at Caterpillar of Canada. He came here with no job but as luck would have it, he saw a job in the newspaper at Caterpillar the same company he had just left in Glasgow.

I don’t remember much about when he was gone, just one night. I remember sitting in my pram, (stroller) my mum must have had it out to give to someone and I was singing “Someday my dad will come, Someday my dad will come”… you know the song (Someday my Prince Will Come) from the movie Snow White. To cheer me up my mum said we were going to have a going away party so I ran outside and told the kids up the close (in the neighbourhood) that they were all invited to a party. We were all so excited and my mum made a cake. (Turns out the party was supposed to be for my mum, Nana and Aunts but how did I know. They weren’t going away I was,so I should have my friends to the party. Isn’t that how it works)?

A day or two later we went to the train station. I was so excited.  As the train pulled away, all the relatives where there and they were waving and crying, my mum too, and I wondered what was there to cry about? I am going to see my dad.

Well we boarded the Empress of Canada and we came across the ocean. I went to the movies and came out feeling seasick. Another day my mum had me all dressed up for a party and I ran down the hall and jumped to avoid where someone else was sick but slipped and fell into it.

Another day, there was a Costume Party for Kids. My mum had met a nurse and they dressed me up as a nurse with a real cap and nurses watch. It was sooooo much fun until I had to go to the bathroom and nearly made it even though the line was long. I had wet my pants a bit and was so embarrassed I locked myself in the toilet and then all the other kids who were waiting for me and bursting (needing to go) wet themselves too. I think they were in sympathy.

We arrived in Montreal in the afternoon on June 1, 1965. We went through customs. The nice man asked my mum if she had any cigarettes or alcohol. She said no. I told the nice man she was lying. She was smoking and drinking on the boat. As a result he searched our bags. My mum was not pleased with me.

We were supposed to get the train in the morning but we managed to get on one right away. We arrived at Union Station in the middle of the night. We got a taxi to my Aunt Dinah’s (my dad was living at her house and so would we until we got on our feet). The taxi driver had never heard of Strathaven Road in Rexdale but he got a map and took us out to the new subdivision. So when we did find the street the taxi driver stopped in front of the house. My mum was a bit unsure of the house, it looked so grand and since she was not sure she asked the taxi driver for a flashlight. She approached the door, turned the knob and walked in. Still not sure, she went to the bedrooms. In the first room was a wee girl my mum thought it looked like Janice but she had been away for a year and grown so much. Still not sure she opened the next bedroom door and shone the light in my Aunty Dinah’s eyes. Now she knew she was in the right place so she woke her in the dark and said “Surprise, we’re here”. My dad was on night shift and was not expecting us until the next day. He got a big surprise when he got home from work. Can you imagine if someone did that today?

Well we lived here for a few months. I went to kindergarten for a few weeks and by summer holiday I had lost my Scottish accent completely. Thanks to Janice, Walter and Alec who teased me mercilessly. We moved out to a basement apartment and lived there for two years. My mum and dad wanted to buy a house so they borrowed $3000 from the Royal Bank and put it in the Bank of Nova Scotia. Then we drove out to Bramalea, Canada’s First Satellite City. I can still see the sign that announced the population on a weekly basis.

The subdivision was all sold out but there were two homes that the people had failed to obtain their mortgage. My parents bought one using the borrowed funds from one bank as the down payment on a house. (Who said you couldn’t buy with Zero down in 1968? Banks didn’t have computers then).

So, we were moving to a house in Bramalea. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to tell my friend Debbie who lived directly above us. She said she was moving too. I asked where? She said Bramalea. I told her I was too, I was moving to Fidelia! Can you believe her parents bought a home on Forsythia? What good fortune moving to Bramalea and I already had a friend in the neighbourhood.

When we got to Fidelia, there were some girls playing skipping. I went out and one of then called me to play. They said I could skip with them and we started to play, “On the Mountain, stands a lady, who she is I do not know. All she wears is gold and silver all she needs is a fine young man. So I call in” and I pointed to this girl with long brown hair. She said RUTH. I said no not my name yours and she said Ruth. Turns out her name was Ruth Marie Ann and mine was Ruth Anne Marie (I really don’t have a middle name but this is the one I had made up for myself when I came to Canada and everyone else had one). Her birthday was the day before mine and we lived right across the street from each other. Bramalea was great!!!

Letting you know this little tidbit about me reminds me of what a great place Canada is. I bet you did not know that I am an immigrant or at least that I am a boat person. I am sure you will hear similar stories all over Canada. It doesn’t matter that is was 45 years ago. We came and we made the best of it. For some it was easier than others. (At least I spoke the language. Well many would say Scottish is not English and tell me often that they cannot understand a word my Dundonian husband Rick says). One thing is sure. (Lyrics from another song by Bob Rae).  We are all in the same boat now!

I am a Forty Dollar Canadian and I became a Canadian by choice, not by birth, and I still wouldn’t have it any other way. I always considered myself Canadian… you know walk like a duck, talk like a duck, so I must be a duck. I could vote (I was British) and then one day the Government decided you would no longer be able to vote if you were not a Canadian Citizen. So the rush was on. I had to get my Citizenship right away so I could continue to vote. To tell you the truth it was a bit embarrassing, something I really always meant to do, just didn’t. My parents were Citizens. They became Citizens when I was 14 but for some reason decided to let me make the decision myself when I was 18. I just floated along until the threat of not being able to vote and the responsibility of a Canadian child made me take the plunge.

I became a Citizen on the last day before the cut off. I went by myself to my Canadian Citizenship Oath. Well not really, Natalie was in her car seat. She was 3 months old. I was so proud, I cried at the ceremony and I enjoyed tea and cake with the other Immigrants. Rick took me out to dinner with my parents and Natalie to celebrate Canada’s newest Canadian. It is an honour. (I am teary eyed just thinking about it).

This is how I came to Canada and became a Citizen. I still thank the Lord for that glorious site.

Please share your stories with us by leaving a comment on this blog. I am sure there are loads and this is a great time to celebrate them.
Cheers! Happy Canada Day!

Natalie and I in Ottawa for Canada Day last year. You can see Parliament Hill and Chris’s flag tattoo in the background. The city was one big sea of red and white. It was priceless.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads

I sent this email out on Father’s Day & I received numerous replies. I will post them as comments on the blog.

A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, or a sail to take us there, but a guiding light who’s love shows us the way.
                                                                        George Webster Douglas
It was great to go and visit my dad two weeks ago for his 75th birthday.  My daughter Natalie, my cousin Jean, and I flew down to Florida for 4 days to help him celebrate. Can you believe I forgot my high heels and had to dance in these little sandals?  We went out to the Wine Cellar in North Reddington Beach had a great meal and a dance and then went back to his house for a good Scottish Sing Song. 
This is a great Daddy Song.  It is Beyonce – Daddy.  
Enjoy the day Dads!!!  Sit back and get treated like a King.  We don’t honour you enough and you deserve it. 

Kick Off to Summer 2010 in Brampton

The City of Brampton offers a wonderful day of fun for the whole family and all your friends this Saturday in our Beautiful Downtown….. We have the opening of the Farmers Market and then there will be the Flower City Parade in the afternoon….Come out and bring the family for a wonderful day of festivities.
While downtown be sure to stop by the City Hall Atrium to see the winners of the impressive Brampton Blooms “A Flower Show” sponsored by the Brampton Horticultural Society.
Hope to see you there!

Farmers Market – Flower City Parade
Opening Day of the Brampton Farmers’ Market 
7am to 1pm
A vibrant outdoor festival marketplace where visitors gather to buy the freshest local Ontario produce, handmade crafts, preserves and baked goods from more than 40 vendors.
Brampton Blooms
 “A Flower Show”
9 am – 4 pm
Presented by the Brampton Horticultural Society
Atrium at City Hall 
Cost: free 

FREE Brampton Flower City Parade 

2 pm start:  Parade Route: Church Street to Main Street/ Main Street South to Frederick Street 
Floral covered floats, marching bands, clowns and stilt walkers and so much more!
The Flower City Parade will travel south along Main Street through the downtown on Saturday, June 19.
The parade starts at Church Street at 2 p.m. and winds up at Frederick Street. Marching bands, flowered floats, stilt walkers, clowns, and a new Zum Bus Rapid Transit bus will be part of the parade. The theme this year is Flower City.
The flower-focused parade was first held in 1963 and carried on yearly for a decade. It was resurrected in 2005 and has been growing again ever since.
Councillors John Sanderson and John Hutton recalled the original parades at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
“It was the social event of the year,” Hutton said, noting the parade travelled from Bramalea across Queen Street into Brampton and “the route was packed.”
He said he hoped that “grandeur” of parades past can be experienced again.
“Hopefully it will rise and be as good as it was 30 years ago,” Hutton said.
The downtown core will be busy that day— it’s the opening day of the Farmer’s Market, and the site of the Walk for the Art of It, the Inzola pancake breakfast for the arts, and the Brampton Blooms flower show.–flower-city-parade-june-19
For more information go to
Be sure to visit Catch the Spirit Brampton at

GTA REALTORS® Report Monthly Resale Housing Figures

TORONTO, JUNE 3, 2010 ‐ Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 9,470 sales through the
Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in May, representing a one per cent dip from May 2009. In
comparison to previous years, this was the third highest May sales result on record.
“The pace of transactions slowed in May following record‐setting sales in February, March and
April,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Tom Lebour. “Buyers who otherwise would
have been purchasing a home in May moved more quickly this year, likely to get ahead of
mortgage rate hikes.”

New listings were up 38 per cent annually to 18,940. The average price for May transactions
was $446,593 – up 13 per cent compared to the average of $395,609 recorded in May 2009.
“The gap between listings and sales has widened, which means there is more choice for
buyers,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “The annual rate of
price growth will slow in the second half of 2010, from the current double digit pace into the
single digits.”

June Newsletter Featuring 27 Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

The latest version of our HomeMarketWatch Insider newsletter
is now available on our website at:

Each month, we publish a series of articles of interest to
homeowners — money-saving tips, household safety checklists,
home improvement advice, real estate insider secrets, etc.
Whether you are currently in the market for a new home, or not,
we hope that this information is of value to you. Please feel
free to pass these articles on to your family and friends.

If you would like to subscribe yourself, go to the following link:


This month’s features…

– Is Your Home Healthy and Safe For Children?

– 27 Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar
– Summer Health Dangers


Hire My Entire Team For LESS Than the Price of One Agent:

FREE Quick Over-the-Net Evaluation:

Find Out What the Home Down the Street Sold For:

How To Beat Out Other Buyers to Hot New Listings:

Ask One of Our Experts Your Real Estate Question:

Find Out How Much You Can Afford In Your Next Home:

Ruth Ballantyne

Sales Representative
RE/MAX Realty Services Inc., Brokerage
295 Queen Street East,
Brampton On
L6W 3R1
Phone: 905-456-1000


Hot New Listing!

5 Foxacre Row, Brampton $339,800

Check out the video of the house below.

Immaculate 4+2 Bedroom Home In A Fabulous Family Oriented Neighbourhood. Boasts A Large Eat-In Kitchen Overlooking The Front Porch & Yard With Mature Trees, Separate Dining Room, Bright Living Room With Newer Broadloom, Fireplace & Walk-Out To Huge Deck & Private Yard. There Is Also An Office On The Main Floor Along With A Separate Laundry Room With An Entrance To The Garage. 4 Spacious Bedrooms Upstairs, Master Featuring An Ensuite & A Walk-In Closet. Beautifully Finished Basement With A Large Rec Room With Pot Lighting, 2 Bedrooms & Lots Of Extra Storage. Includes: Appliances, Window Coverings, Light Fixtures, Security System (No Contract), Cac, Newer Hardwood Throughout Upper Level.

For your personal tour, email me at or call me at 905-456-1000.

If you are thinking about listing your home, CLICK HERE Now is a great time!

If you are thinking about buying a home, CLICK HERE Now is a great time!

Ruth Ballantyne, Sales Representative, RE/MAX Realty Services Inc., Brokerage

Sunny Day!

I am loving this weather! It’s 28°C and the sun is shining! Tomorrow will be even better!

What are you doing today? I hope you are out there enjoying it!

Ruth Lobbies local MP’s to Help Homeowners

I am just back from a Meeting with Bramalea-Gore-Malton MP Hon. Gurbax Malhi. I was lobbying to have the Home Buyers Plan Indexed to keep pace with inflation so that it never loses its value. Did you know that the average net worth of a household who rents is $11,000 compared to $375,000 for homeowners. We need to help everyone get into a house to increase their net worth. I was also lobbying to Allow the capital gains tax and the recaptured capital cost allowance to be defered when an Income propety is sold and the proceeds are reinvested in another Income property within one year. This program would assist Canadians saving for Retirement, as well as retirees dependant on regular income by making real estate a more viable investment vehicle. He was supportive and said he would speak to his caucus on this recommendation.
Earlier this month I went to Ottawa as part of the Canadian Real Estate Associations Political Action Days to lobby the other MP’s within the Brampton Real Estate Board Jurisdiction. I met with Andrew Kania, Hon. Navdeep Bains, and Ruby Dhalla. Everyone was in support of the programs. Let me know what you think of these programs.